tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current February 6, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> jennifer: well, i'm jennifer granholm. this is "the war room." immigration reform is obviously a top priority of president obama's second term, and it's also high on the agenda of this country's labor movement. but it hasn't always been that way. in 1924 president calvin coolidge who was backed by the american federation of labor signed the johnson act and that established immigration quotas limit the number of immigrants who could come to america. back then the afl also aligned it's a with quasi fascist groups like the american defense society which deemed many immigrants genetically inferior. and the hart seller act discontinued quotas based on
national origin. they feared competition from new immigrants who were willing to work for lower wages. so why do america's unions now favor immigration reform? let's ask uaw president bob king, he is joining us tonight from washington, d.c. where he is attending his community conference. welcome back inside "the war room." >> great to be with you. >> jennifer: looking at this history and knowing that not too long ago they were proposed to immigrants, why has labor changed its tune? >> from the uaw perspective it's multi-level, number one is we believe this fairness and dignity for all human beings.
and we think it's good for all current workers in the u.s. immigrants in this country right now are often exploited by their employers or paid at lower wages than they should be. they are not given the benefits they should be. it gives them a path at work and raises their wages, which is good for everybody in the labor movement. >> jennifer: you are at a conference, and immigration reform is probably one of the subjects that you are talking about, does the uaw or labor in general have outreach programs to enlist new immigrants? >> we're very strongly in favor of immigration reform as a path to citizenships. we run into immigrants that are great workers and work hard and
they should be treated equally. in the auto industry we do a lot of international work and the economies that are not moving forward, in both cases they have really strong restrictions on immigration. and immigrants pay payroll taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes. they put much more into the system than they ever take out. so it's a question of fairness a question of how we strengthen american workers and protect the dignity and rights of the immigrant worker. >> jennifer: what do you make of the news today that fox con is the apple computer parts plant in china what do you think of the fact that they announced that they are going to allow workers to unionize? >> i think it's a really
positive step in the right direction. i hope it's legitimate. we see tremendous abuse of workers in ail different parts of the world. we're involved in a campaign in mexico, where tremendous abuse of worker, and they do wire harness work in deplorable conditions. it's very much like the fox con story. anywhere that global public pressure can convince companies that they should give workers the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining that is very very positive. >> jennifer: and will that convince countries they should be more responsive to union workers, like in china? >> well, you know, we work
throughout the world. we're involved in some campaigns in india right now, where we're supporting worker's rights to organize. so we want to see a global middle class we want to see every country respect laborers rights, and yes, we think it is extremely important that we push and have public support for worker's rights to organize and collective bargaining. >> jennifer: so what is coming out of your conference today? >> we're focused on a brood economic justice agenda. fairness for all working class families. we want a path out of poverty. for so many americans in poverty today that are working 40 hours a week, 60 hours a week and in some cases 80 hours a week and because their wages are so low,
they still qualify for welfare checks. look at brazil we had the former president of brazil who spoke to our conference. what an amazing inspiring story where they rejected austerity economics, and invested in safety net programs and their economy is booming. they have -- in all of their public universities. it's free tuition. our kids are going through even public universities with 50,000 $80,000 worth of debt. it doesn't have to be that way. brazil demonstrates that it can help the economy. the more you get middle class wages for citizens in a society, the more consumer buying power there is. it helps the companies. it helps retail sales. so this austerity economics is
the wrong path. it does not work. what works is more infrastructure investment. more investment in education, more investment to create jobs. that's what builds a strong economy. >> jennifer: of course there is concern that if you have a whole influx of new immigrants who don't have the ability to collectively bargain, that you might see exploitation of that group. how optimistic are you that in fact we will see comprehensive immigration reform in the next what? six months? >> i think it really depends on all of us who believe in human dignity. and it's about the $11 million immigrants that are here already that are being exploited. our history tells us we learned the wrong way in 2008 to 2010 where we didn't mobilize.
so i think the only way we get the immigration reform is if there's a brood progressive movement environmentalists, labor, faith communities, all of these different groups that march and rally and demonstrate -- we want the president to do the right thing, and we want congress to do the right thing, but unless there is pressure from the bottom up social change does not happen. and we learned that the hard way, and we're not going to let that happen again. we're going to be marching with all of our brothers and sisters, and organizations that believe in a better society. >> jennifer: all right, bob king i really appreciate you coming inside "the war room." coming up, liberalism,
liberalism, no longer a dirty word. and the popularity of the president's policies are one reason why. and the state of montana has a lot of guns, and they are not in a hurry to get rid of them. so is the gun crisis also a local gun crisis. plus the state of california versus the state of texas. the two heavyweights get into a little brouhaha over the best place to set up shop. it's "the war room" on a wednesday night. we're just getting started stick around.
alright, in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. ♪ >> jennifer: at the start of the president's second term there are many people myself included who are scouring the president's remarks for signs of how he might govern in the next four years, but i think to really
understand his vision for the future actually you have to go back two years to the speech he gave in ossawottamee kansas. this was the place where in 1910, teddy roosevelt laid out his vision for a new national and eight decades later president obama did essentially the same thing. >> obama: this is a make or break moment for the middle class, and all of those fighting to get into the middle class, because what is at stake is whether this will be a country where worker people will make enough to raise a family build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. >> jennifer: that was essentially the same message that got the president reelected with perhaps the most diverse coalition in the history of this
country, wealthy, middle class, poor, religious, non-religious. he fluing the doors right open, and americans of all stripes came rushing in. and then in his second inaugural address he brought back some of the same language. >> obama: we believe that america's prosperity must ride on the shoulders of a thriving middle class. when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. >> jennifer: and this time the media got the message loud and clear. after his inauguration speech newspapers across the country heralded the president's liberal vision for america and just
like that the l word the l word was back in vogue. now, though, the president's liberal vision and the progressive coalition that he built is facing its first real task. and it's the debate over the drone strikes. progressives are voicing concerns after the memo from the justice department was leaked. it spells out, the memo, the administration's case for killing americans accused of being al quada operatives. and attorney general eric holder didn't a whole lot of details yesterday. >> you know, some of these things are -- are fact based, and i can't necessarily get into the weeds or kind of parse these things. you can't exam these terms without having reference to the
facts, and i'm not in a position in this environment in a classified environment i can get more specific. >> jennifer: and the lack of specificity has alarmed some on the left. including democratic senator ron wyden. >> the bottom line is the administration is essentially telling the congress the american people, just trust us and i just don't think that's the standard for oversight. >> jennifer: and that is just a prelude to tomorrow's confirmation hearings for john brennan who is a chief architect for the drone program. senator wyden has been one of john brennan's loudest opponents because of his role in that drone program. and here is another thing that
is not going to help the president with the left, is he is now getting praise from the far right. lindsay graham said he was going to author a resolution commending the president's use of drones . . . maybe not the endorsement the president was looking for. so is his liberal appeal strong enough to withstand the outcry over the drones or is it just a narrow group of people? how should progressives feel about drone strikes anyway? it's not so easy. for more on that i'm joined by hendrik hertzberg, staff writer at "the new yorker," and his most recent column is about the president's second inaugural address, but he has addressed this drone issue as well. he is coming to us from new york. rick thanks so much for joining
me inside "the war room." >> thank you. >> jennifer: let me start with the bigger issue, which is the idea of liberalism comeback. and you wrote . . . so the question is, is liberal really no longer a dirty word? >> well, you know, it's interesting because the newspapers, the media, the -- if i may say the main stream media not the left media, or the right media, but the down the middle media now don't have any problem using that word and that shows that the fever -- the fever has lifted, and liberals can now maybe say their name. the president hasn't called himself a liberal yet, and politicians will be the last to say i'm a liberal, and they'll
say it when everybody else is saying it, and they notice that they are not necessarily saying it in an insulting manner. and then i think it's a sign of nevertheless it's a sign of a return of some kind of morale to liberal politicians as well as just run of the mill progressives. >> jennifer: yeah, run of the mill progressives which is the title everybody uses myself included. do you think because the president has sort of opened up the doors and invited so many people in to embrace this could conservatives become more of a disfavored term? >> doubt that. i don't think that will happen. i think we're back to a sort of natural balance, liberal, conservative, democrat republican, i don't think there
will be liberals have never made a big attempt to demonize the word conservatism. it's an identifier. it's an identifier just as liberal is an identifier. left right, radical, reactionary, those are scare words, and legitimately so but it is a bit of anomaly to have liberal turned into something that discredits you. that is ridiculous. >> jennifer: yeah, and i think that has so much to do with the conservative rebranding as the party that spins -- you know spins completely out of control. and the question is can you be a liberal and still believe in fiscal responsibility? >> yeah, and there is some history behind this too, in the
60s where everything happened the great cauldron in which the stars were created, in the 60s it wasn't just the right that used liberal as a dirty word it was the left too. the radical left scorned liberals as compromisers as sellouts, all of the things you heard clinton called and obama called and you will hear every future democratic president called that too. that's just the nature of our system. >> jennifer: it is. it is. so where does the drone program fit into this new liberalism. do you think this released memo. this drone program that needs some contours, everybody agrees but is it going to hurt the president? >> i think it will marginally hurt him among liberals. it is pretty mild compared to
the what the civil liberties left have had for the americans. the vietnam war is one embarrassing example of what bob dole called a democrat war. this is certainly a problem. the drone strikes, and i share a lot of the nervousness and -- about these drone strikes. there is an argument -- there are arguments on -- on the pro-drone strike side as well as the anti-drone side. but, yes, it is going to be a problem. a bigger problem would be if the president were to make too generous to the right a deal on social insurance -- cuts in
snowstorm insurance programs. >> jennifer: i agree with you on that too. but on the drone issue, you had a very thoughtful interview, and you were describing how you felt about it? where -- you know, people -- i'll just say from my perspective. it is a really hard issue. i think if there were gorge bush and there was no transparency i think the left would be all over it, but there is an element of i do trust this president, and he won't go way out that perhaps a more conservative president might. but the question of drones themselves is there a moral issue about sending in a machine, essentially to take out a sworn enemy of the united states as opposed to having boots on the ground here there is clearly a face-to-face recognition of what a soldier is doing? >> well, yeah -- there is
certainly a difference. and what makes anyone nervous about drone strikes is where is the line between assassination and a drone strike? it's a pretty fuzzy line? but what is the moral line between -- between -- as you say boots on the ground. the kind of warfare where you kill lots and lots of people including a lot of innocent civilians because you are an army marching into a territory or defending a territory, and a lot of innocent people get killed in order to achieve a political observetive. you can make arguments that a targeted drone strike, which goes after a proven bad actor, and then -- and then -- and then his wife and children get killed, when you put a human face on -- on lethal violence it's always disturbing.
it is fine to talk about how we defending our values, but when you are going after a specific human being with a name and a family, then you have to face up to what you are actually doing and then you get into the morality of war in a much larger -- in a much larger sense, and it's not a liberal/conservative thing. >> jennifer: it's a perpetual issue, and war is ugly on either side. is it moral to prevent having americans who put their lines on the line because those soldiers have faces and families as well? it's really -- i think, it's not a black and white issue, and i appreciate you coming on to talk about that and whether liberalism has been given a new time. thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> jennifer: up next rural states are a key constituency for republicans and democrats. we talk about gun safety right after the break. [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands? while your carpets may appear clean. it's scary how much dirt your vacuum can leave behind. add resolve deep clean powder before you vacuum to expel the dirt within your carpets. resolve's deep clean powder is moist. absorbing and lifting three times more dirt than vacuuming alone. leaving you with a carpet that's truly fresh and clean.
♪ >> jennifer: of course most gun enthusists sight the second amendment to fight what they say are unconstitutional gun laws. but article 1 gives congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, and therefore, guns. gary marbut, president of the montana shooting association, pushed the montana firearms freedom act through the montana state legislature, and that bill says that guns that are manufactured and remaining in montana are exempt from federal gun regulations because no interstate commerce is involved. that bill was signed into law in
2009 by governor brian schweitzer. as soon as it was passed mar bet applied to the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms to manufacture the buckaroo, which is marketed for children between the ages of 5 and 11. the atf basically told him no way. he can't manufacture the buckaroo without a federal license. so he sued the department of justice, and he is claiming that they do not have the right to regulate firearms because of the montana firearms freedom act. he lost his case in the district court, and next month the ninth circuit will hear his argument. he hopes to bring this argument
all the way to the u.s. supreme court, because he wants to challenge the eight decades of precedent which gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce. legislatures in 34 states have introduced copycat bills. eight governors have signed the bill into law. and joining me now is the man who first signed the act into law, governor brian schweitzer he is joining me from new york. welcome back inside "the war room." >> good to be back and great to see you again. >> jennifer: great to see you again too. so former governor schweitzer there are questions about whether these acts are even
constitutional. i'm sure this argument raged in montana when you were contemplating signing it. what made you sign it. >> take the word gun out and put the word radish in. if you grow a radish in montana and they consume the radish in montana should we have the federal government telling us how we can grow a radish and eat a radish? the federal government still says that marijuana is a drug and still a federal crime so how is that debate going to end? there are some questions about state's rights and this whole gun debate. there is a bigger issue here. i understand where there are a lot of people crowded together that they need addition aal laws, but in places like montana, and a couple of more states, and yet there's a
million people living in this area, it's a much different situation. and i understand people say but won't those guns cross state lines? yes, if people are willing to violate the state and federal laws, all kinds of things can happen. >> jennifer: so you are making a couple of very interesting points. i mean one is what effects interstate commerce right? the supreme court has a whole slew of decisions about that and they have over time really expanded quite significantly the federal government's reach on anything that is sold in commerce, but your point about the local issue, you are from a state where hunting and shooting sports are popular, but there are a lot of people on the left that would argue that you don't need an assault weapon or high-capacity magazine to shoot a deer. what is the counter argument back to them?
>> well, in all fairness there's nothing in the second amendment that mentions a deer, an elk a moose, a bear a rabbit. it talks about guns. and when they were talking about guns in those days they were talking about a well-regulated militia, because they were talking about shooting red coats. a was the time that we wanted to visit sins that were prepared to defend our homeland. now we're grappling with what does it mean today? where do we draw the line? is it on assault weapon a grenade, tank, we have said some of those a citizen can't have. but let's talk about the nra a little bit. they were for gun registration before they were against it. and now before they said we need gun registration except there was a loophole so you could walk
into a gun show and pay cash not show any id, and walk out with any kind of gun you can guy at a gun show and now the nra is not for closing that loophole. they said what we need is we need citizens to be registered so we know criminals and the mentally aren't getting these guns. now you can walk in the back door and buy it at a gun show. that needs to be closed. >> jennifer: i know you are not in office anymore, but you did receive when you were in office an a rating from the nra, and you are saying the gun show loophole and background checks you are for that. but what about the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines? >> i think we need to take a
look at the high-capacity magazines, but let's start with closing the loophole. we have said in this country, we want to do a background check. but if you are not doing a background check at gun shows, that means criminals and mentally ill are going to buy at a gun show. >> jennifer: right. i want people out there to hear from you why it's important to respect the second amendment for the people in montana. why is it important not to limit gun ownership? what is the argument? >> jennifer when you and i left office, we left office and maybe 20 or 15 hours aday you had armed security that was taking care of you. and it is kind of interesting when a governor leaves office in
one minute as you know you walk away and you no longer have a driver or security 24 hours a day. in my case i have moved up to my house, and if some crazy person did show up at my door and i dialed 911, if they could find my house at the top of the woods, it would be 45 minutes. by the time somebody got there, we will have sorted everything out. i have never pointed a gun at somebody, but if they are threatening me and my family you better believe it i will shoot them. >> jennifer: i think it's important for progressives to understand the nuances, that if you are a rural state this is a totally different argument than if you are from an urban area. it's not an easy question. i understand that.
and i really, brian, appreciate you coming into "the war room." i know you are coming from new york. what are you doing in new york man? >> just fooling around. i got to get out of town though. i have a 48-hour rule. if i stay longer than 48s i got to wash myself with the stuff that i wash my dog with when they get sprayed by a sunk. >> jennifer: all right. up next, texas wants you. the battle for jobs turns into a war of words between two of the biggest states in the country. that's next right here in "the war room." have him floor it, spin it punch it, drift it put it through its paces is he happy? oh ya, he's happy! [ male announcer ] and that's how you test your car for fun. easy.
california companies to texas. on monday governor perry's economic development office began airing these radio ads in california. >> building a business is tough. but i hear building a business in california is next to impossible. this is texas governor rick perry, and i have a message for california businesses come check out texas. >> jennifer: yesterday california governor jerry brown tried to brush off the issue. >> it's not a serious story, guys. you take a little radio ad and all of you guys run like hot dogs to report it. it's not even a burp. it's barely a fart. >> jennifer: that's a line i have never heard from a governor before. but reporters who are covering the state's economy think it's
an important story. one of them is "san francisco chronicle" political reporter joe garofoli, who has tracked the texas versus california job battle for years. welcome back. >> was at jerry brown's state of the state yesterday, and he quoted yates, and the ten commandments, and now he is dropping fart jokes. that's a wide range of intellect there. >> jennifer: that's right. governor perry is always citing facts about the unemployment rate, and why you should come to texas. >> the state oft texas drops $19 billion a year in incentives -- >> jennifer: wait? 19 -- >> billion. billion dollars. >> jennifer: all coming from oil and gas money. >> yes. >> jennifer: $19 billion.
>> yes. and they cut their state education budget $6 billion last year, and they are among the lowest in poverty rates, and low-income jobs -- low-wage jobs. so a lot of these jobs coming to texas are not the corporate headquarters jobs. they are low-wage jobs. and a lot of this money they are handing out is corporate welfare. >> jennifer: i used to do some of that too, but i didn't have $19 billion. >> right. you didn't have oil fields though. >> jennifer: right. and the states that have natural resources and can monitize it, they obviously utilize it. but who is winning the job's war? >> the jobs rate is lower in texas -- >> jennifer: unemployment. >> unemployment rate is lower in texas.
and unemployment is a problem. governor brown submitted a balanced budget this year which is a change from years past but california still has $27 billion in back debt. it is in a tough spot. >> jennifer: but it is improving. >> it is improving. >> jennifer: how many people are really hearing thissed a? >> more people will hear it tonight on "the war room" than -- [ laughter ] >> jennifer: he has how many billion dollars pot? >> he spent $24,000 on this ad. i had to google the station to find out where it was. >> jennifer: this happens between governors all the time. >> yes. >> jennifer: but it's stupid. it is stupid national policy. >> you are a reformed poacher? >> jennifer: but if i were governor and all of my other fellow governors are doing it you have to got to get in here
but it is a stupid national strategy. >> yes. >> jennifer: let's switch to a different state, which is kentucky. there has been some activity on the part of those who support mitch mcconnell who are trying to ashley judd out of the box early on. there is an ad on that. >> i am committed to president obama and vice president biden. i think he is a brilliant man. he is now able to flower more. as the president i knew he could be. >> a leader who knows how to follow. >> i will go wherever the president wants me to go. >> jennifer: it's karl rove's american cross roads -- >> he spent $10,000 on that ads. >> jennifer: and of course getting us to talk about it. so should they be afraid of ashley judd? >> nobody is afraid of ashley judd? >> jennifer: really? no republicans are. >> no republicans. the guy recruiting for the tea
party there he is prying to get a primary challenger -- they have no fear of her. the thing about him is -- even the democrats are trying to recruit not only tea party people, but other democrats to run. they are putting the lines out to everyone. the odds -- >> jennifer: so the reason why she would not be -- because of this hollywood thing, because she was from tennessee too, and all of that -- all of the things that you hear in this ad -- >> there's no way. and she has said stuff about the coal mining industry which is huge there. it's not going to happen. plus obama got 39% of the vote in kentucky last time. >> jennifer: is there a republican that could beach mitch mcconnell? >> i don't think so. they just appointed a women speaker there. and only two women have been elected to the house ever.
>> jennifer: so a step behind. >> a step behind. >> jennifer: let me get your take on hagel's confirmation. apparently it has been postponed, the vote on it because they haven't finished doing the background check -- >> yeah, whenever you are postponing a vote, and levin is friendly here, if he doesn't want to count the votes, he doesn't want to have the vote. that's not good. there's a lot -- they are asking for different financial disclosures. we looked into hagel's service on the board of chevron. he made $300,000 there in 2011. they are a major government contractor. there are all kinds of financial considerations going on here. >> jennifer: and he would have to cut that. >> right. or put it in a blind trust.
>> jennifer: very interesting. joe always you come with nuggets for us -- >> and i got to say fart on national television. my mother is very proud of me. >> jennifer: you got to state twice. >> yes. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: up next the best of the rest, stick around. running out of aerosols can get pretty frustrating. try the air wick freshmatic. it automatically fills the air with its captivating scent. just one freshmatic refill lasts as long as 55 aerosol cans. and with so many rich, indulgent fragrances to choose from, you can get lost in celebration. something in the air wick.
♪ >> jennifer: all right. so "the young turks" of course starts at the top of the hour, and cenk uygur is here with a preview. cenk what is going on tonight? >> we actually have a mixed record on a new obama appointee, which i view to be good news. >> jennifer: you are just so hard. so tell me what the upsides are. >> sally jewell seems to care about conservation, and she ran a socially responsible company that did well by her employees, also a 20-year banker and has worked for oil companies in the past. so it's a mixed record we'll
have somebody on to talk about where they think she is going to with it. and then one of the top multi-millionaires who is arguing for more taxes on the rich, and he says he wants more customers to make more money, and the way to do that is to help the middle class, and it's a great argument. >> jennifer: all right. thanks cenk we'll be watching. and now to the best of the rest the other news items that i think progressives need to know this evening. this is an unidentified native american man give a group of anti-immigration protesters lesson in history and perspective. >> you're all illegal. we didn't invite none of you here! get on with your bogus arguments!
we're the only legal americans here. >> jennifer: not only does he have pint but it does prove that immigration and the argument has been raging for sentries. we'll see if congress can resolve it by thanksgiving. and remember when the right-wing was up in arms because a few school kids sang for president obama. them with governor signed a bill that would force every high school student to read ayn rand's book. he said that book made my son a republican. that's right kids. you can do everything you can to dismantel the social safety net just like this guy. >> explain the reality of
capitalism and the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most. >> jennifer: somebody is always in our "war room," everybody. check us out at current.com/thewarroom, you can see our twitter and facebook page and check out our web extras. thank so much for joining us. i hope you have a great night. be sure to tune in tomorrow night. it will be my last edition of "the war room." we'll see you then. thanks. ♪
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